India skipper Virat Kohli has openly gone on record asking the workload of his three pacers — Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami — be managed expertly during the two-month long IPL so that they could be fresh for the biggest battle this year, the ICC World Cup.
Kohli feels franchises should be lenient towards the three pacers and rest them properly as they are crucial to India’s chances of lifting the showpiece trophy. However, he may not have his wish granted because the three pacers are key players for their respective franchises. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, addressing the media here on Thursday, said they understand the captain’s concerns and are looking at easing up during the second half.
“That’s (workload during IPL) something that’s there in all of our minds. We have to mange everything. We cannot decide how much we are going to play or workload management. It will come into play after the first half of IPL, six-seven matches then we can know how we can approach the second half of IPL and what we need to do to remain fit for the World Cup. Yes, it (World Cup) is there on our minds but we’ll look after (out fitness) in the second half of IPL.”
Bhuvneshwar, a key pacer for Sunrisers Hyderabad, hoped franchises would co-operate. “So, of course, it’s up to the franchise. I am sure they will co-operate with each and every player because World Cup is a very important thing for us and BCCI may also talk to them. This is something which is in mind, no surety that we’re going to take rest and we’re not going to play but we’ll see after the first round of games.”
It came as a surprise to many when Bhuvneshwar’s name was missing from the first two ODIs. The pacer said he needed some rest and is looking forward to having a crack in the last three games. “I’m not worried about who’s getting a chance and who’s not getting. More importantly, it’s about getting rest. Shami got rest in New Zealand, Bumrah in Australia and I got rest in this series. You want to be consistent for that you want to be fit. You want to give your 100 percent for every match. For that you want to be fit.”